Former PHS Lacrosse Star Miller Made the Most of Guilford Career
By Bill Alden
Josh Miller played a vital role in helping the Princeton High boys' lacrosse team become a powerhouse in the late 1990s. The stocky Miller thrived in the crease for the Little Tigers, firing home many a feed from the Hayes brothers, Dixon and Whitney.
During Miller's PHS career, the team went from winning one game his freshman season to making the state quarterfinals in his last spring with the team.
Upon graduating from PHS in 2000, Miller headed south to Guilford College in North Carolina where he hoped to help transform the struggling Quakers into a winner.
While Division III Guilford never experienced a renaissance like PHS during Miller's time there, the 5'8, 180-pound attackman put together one of the greatest careers in the history of the program.
Miller, who graduated last month from Guilford with a degree in psychology, ended up as the fourth highest scorer in school history with 199 points on 99 goals and 100 assists.
In reflecting on his college career, Miller acknowledged that it didn't quite match his glory days at PHS.
"I was interested in turning the program around like we did at PHS," said Miller, who paced the Quakers this spring with 62 points as he scored 29 goals and had 33 assists.
"The best experience of my life was turning that around at Princeton. It was a tough four years at Guilford, we didn't win a game in the conference [Old Dominion Athletic Conference.]"
Although the Quakers didn't pile up many wins during Miller's career, they didn't come up short when it came to character.
"We kept coming out and doing everything we could," maintained Miller of the squad which went 5-9 overall this spring and 0-6 in ODAC play. "We didn't get our heads down. It was a small group; some of them have become my best friends in life."
Miller learned something about perseverance from his PHS coach Peter Stanton.
"Peter gave me great advice as a person," recalled Miller. "He was a pretty motivated guy and he always talked about eliminating failure."
In Miller's view, the most vivid example of eliminating failure during his PHS career came when the Little Tigers upset powerful Hunterdon Central 5-4 in his senior year.
"They had a lot of athletes, every single one of them seemed twice our size," said Miller in recalling that triumph. "We should've been intimidated but we came out and beat them."
With his PHS experience under his belt, Miller was not intimidated as he moved up to the college game.
"I ran right into it, I played well from the start," said ¬Miller, who was a starter in all 55 games he played for Guilford. "The biggest adjustment was playing against teams with 40 players when we had about 20. We spent a lot of time without possession of the ball."
Being on a team that was fighting uphill battles against such nationally-ranked ODAC foes as Hampden-Sydney, Roanoke, and Washington and Lee, forced Miller to diversify his game.
"The biggest thing I take out of my college experience is that I turned into a feeder," said Miller, who led the ODAC this year with an average of 2.29 assists a game.
"I think I had about 20 assists in high school. I went from a crease attackman into a feeder. I loved learning to play like that. If I hadn't, I would just been a one-dimensional player."
Considering the highs and lows Miller has experienced in his lacrosse career, it's no wonder that he developed into a well-rounded performer.